Geochemical Studies of BIF in Wugang, North China Craton: Implication for the Genesis

북중국 우강 지역에 분포하는 호상철광상의 성인에 대한 지구화학적 연구

  • Moon, Inkyeong (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Insung (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yang, Xiaoyong (School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China)
  • 문인경 (서울대학교 지구환경과학부) ;
  • 이인성 (서울대학교 지구환경과학부) ;
  • Received : 2019.01.14
  • Accepted : 2019.05.15
  • Published : 2019.06.28


The Wugang banded iron formation (BIF) is located within the Taihua complex at the southern margin of the North China Craton (NCC). In this study, we analyzed major elements and rare-earth elements in iron ores from the Wugang BIF, to study the type of BIFs and their formation mechanism in combination with previously-published data from the literature. We found that the iron ores from the Wugang BIF display two types of banding textures, which can be described as weak banding or no banding. The samples are composed of coarse-grained magnetite, quartz, pyroxene, and amphibole. Based on our geochemical results, mixing of a hydrothermal fluid with sea water led to the precipitation of the Wugang BIF, and there is evidence of crustal contamination. These results, combined with previous literature data, almost all of the iron ores lack Ce anomalies, though some samples show negative Ce anomalies. Our results indicate that the Wugang BIF was formed in a dominantly reducing environment, although the surfaces were relatively oxidized. Geochemical evidence suggests that the Wugang BIF iron ores were formed in a near-shore continental-shelf environment or in a back-arc basin. The BIF is known as interbedded with migmatite, amphibole gneiss, minor quartz and marble, which indicating lack of volcanic materials input. This study, combined with previous results on geochemical interpretation of related wall rock of Wugang BIF, demonstrated that Wugang BIF belongs to Superior-type BIF.


Superior-type;banded iron formation;REY;geochemistry;North China Craton

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Fig. 2. Stratigraphic section of the Wugang BIF (Liu et al., 2018).

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Fig. 3. Photos of iron ores from the Wugang BIF.

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Fig. 4. Photomicrographs of iron ores from the Wugang BIF.

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Fig. 5. PAAS (Post Archean Australian Shale)–normalized REY patterns of iron ores from the Wugang BIF (red solid line). Comparable data are (Liu et al., 2018).The values of the high–temperature hydrothermal fluid (Bau and Dulski, 1999) and seawater (Alibo and Nozaki, 1999) are shown for comparison.

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Fig. 6. The (Ce/Ce*)SN vs (Pr/Pr*)SN diagram (Bau and Dulski, 1996).

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Fig. 7. Elemental ratio plots with three component (Alexander et al., 2008). Comparable data (Liu et al., 2018) are plotted together. The values of the high–temperature hydrothermal fluid (Bau and Dulski, 1999), seawater (Alibo and Nozaki, 1999) and upper continental crust (Rudnick and Gao, 2003) used three end members.

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Fig. 1. (a) Geological map of the North China Craton and location of study area, modified after Zhao et al. (2005). (b) Simplified geological map of the Wugang area (Li et al., 2014).

Table 1. Major elements (wt.%) of the Wugang BIF and average BIFs in NCC

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Table 2. Rare earth elements (ppm) compositions and their ratios of the Wugang BIF

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Supported by : 한국연구재단


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